Guardiola understands criticism but confident Man City will improve

By Patric Ridge 28 October 2020 46
Guardiola understands criticism but confident Man City will improve

Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City must accept criticism following an underwhelming start to the Premier League campaign, but he has no doubt his side will kick on. 

Following a 1-1 draw with West Ham on Saturday, City have taken just eight points from their opening five league matches of the season – their lowest total at this stage of a campaign since 2014-15. 

City, who face Sheffield United on Saturday, sit five points behind top-two sides Everton and Liverpool, albeit they do have a game in hand.

Matters have been different in the Champions League, however. 

Ferran Torres, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling – who with 18 goals and 10 assists has been directly involved in more Champions League goals than any other player at the club – were on target in a routine 3-0 win over Marseille on Tuesday. 

While Guardiola accepts the criticism which has come his side's way, he believes there are more than enough positive signs for City for the weeks and months ahead. 

"No," Guardiola replied to BT Sport when he was asked if City had been overly criticised. 

"We have to accept it. Today, the world of football is on social media and in the media, so we play every three days and when you win you are good and when you don't they want to destroy everything. 

"But the club, the chairman, the players and managers are calm and know exactly what to do. We accept it, it's part of our job.

"The important thing is we are exactly where we are, over the last month there has been a lack of preparation with people injured, with COVID. 

"Champions League now is in a good position, in the Premier League we are away [from the top] but we have one game in hand. It's time to take our rhythm, people will come back, I am sure we will have a good season." 

In their first competitive meeting with Marseille, City dominated from start to finish, making 821 passes – with a 93 per cent accuracy – mustering eight attempts and controlling almost 65 per cent of possession. 

"We played really well, we didn't concede much, nothing at all," said Guardiola. 

"We were in total control, patient, so aggressive without the ball, we played really well. I am so satisfied for the performance, for the victory. Winning away is difficult and we did it. I’m so satisfied with the way we played." 

After struggling with an injury sustained while on international duty with Belgium, Kevin De Bruyne returned to City's starting XI to provide two assists, taking his career total for the club to 88. 

"Kevin always plays good," said Guardiola. "He is something special. I'm so happy he is back. He played really well again."

About Author

Patric Ridge